The Lakers got revenge on the Boston Celtics Thursday in Boston, and now they look to stretch their current winning streak to four games in New York. The Lakers haven’t played up to expectations most of the year, and fans have become a little worried.
General Manager Mitch Kupchak says a trade isn’t out of the question, because this team is underachieving. The most recent trade rumors have Carmelo Anthony as a possible candidate to move to Los Angeles. Ironically, the Lakers opponent on Friday night is the other primary team rumored to be interested in bringing in Anthony.
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The New York Knicks have cooled off a bit of late, and they could certainly use a big win over the reigning champions. Thursday night’s national television win in Boston boosted the Lakers morale for now, but they’ll definitely want another win in this marquee matchup. The Lakers will visit Madison Square Garden in a star-studded affair Friday night on ESPN.
It’s not that the Lakers have been bad this year, they are 37-16. However, the team has been extremely inconsistent. Los Angeles has lost plenty of games this year that they simply haven’t had any business losing.
Ron Artest’s numbers are the lowest of his career, and some are questioning whether he really wants to be with the team. Kobe Bryant is having another terrific season, and he has been especially good in the last couple weeks. Lamar Odom is having his best year as a Laker, and Pau Gasol has been great.
The supporting cast, however, has been less effective this year than they have been in the last couple seasons. Derek Fisher and Steve Blake have both struggled this year, which has left the team a little less secure at the point guard position. The Lakers have been solid defensively this year, and they are one of the best rebounding teams in the league.
This isn’t a team that anyone should be counting out, but they do need to improve their team chemistry. The three-game road winning streak they are currently on is a nice way to start building some positive momentum.
The New York Knicks come into this key matchup at 26-25 on the year. This team started slowly, and then went on a huge run. However, they have since cooled off quite a bit again.
Amar’e Stoudemire has been the star the Knicks were looking for, and his presence makes this team dangerous. Stoudemire is averaging 26.2 points and 8.6 rebounds per game this year.
While he hasn’t received the same fanfare, Raymond Felton has been superb at the point guard spot as well. Felton has done a nice job distributing the basketball, and he is the team’s second leading scorer.
Wilson Chandler is having his best year as a professional, but he is questionable for this game on the injury report. Landry Fields has been a surprise star for the Knicks as a rookie, which has really helped the team’s depth. Danilo Gallinari has shown signs of heating up of late, and if he gets on a roll he can put up the points in bunches.
The downfall of this team has been their inability to get stops on the defensive end. The Knicks are allowing their opponents to score an average of 106.2 points per game this year.
Lakers at Knicks Betting Odds and Line Movement
The Lakers opened as a small three-point road favorite, according to current NBA odds. The public money is slowly pushing the line further toward the Lakers, who are now favored by 3.5 points. The posted total has been steady since opening at 211.5.
Los Angeles Lakers at New York Knicks Betting Trends
The Lakers are 8-3-1 ATS in their last 12 as a road favorite
The Knicks are 20-6-2 ATS in their last 28 as an underdog
The ‘under’ is 29-13 in the Lakers last 42 games overall
The Lakers are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 meetings in New York
NBA Picks: Lakers at Knicks Predictions
I expect both teams to give a good effort in this one, but I think the Lakers are just too talented for the Knicks. Los Angeles has been playing very well on the road, and the Knicks are only mediocre at home. The Lakers are a much better team on the defensive end, and I think that will be the difference. I like the Lakers to cover the short line in this one.
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